Mayor Dan Rogers has suggested council take a second look at its previous decision to build a new arena at the Kin Centres.
It was a controversial decision that passed with only five councillors voting for the new arena rather demolishing Kin 1 and replacing it. The Kin4 proposal would cost about $6 million more, plus $200,000 per year in operating costs.
Taking a second look is being supported by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce.
“Although the chamber recognizes the need for additional ice capacity in our city, our ultimate municipal concern is fiscal responsibility and the amount of debt our city currently carries,” said Chamber President Gaurav Parmar in a press release. “In order for this project to go ahead, city council needs to find $6.5 million that it doesn’t currently have. That money will come from one of two places: an increase in taxes or by adding to our city’s long-term debt; neither option is a good one in our opinion.”
In addition to financing concerns, the chamber notes that appropriate processes such as a business case analysis, feasibility study, and site selection have not yet occurred which are necessary in determining whether the Prince George community sees a new arena, in the proposed location, as its highest priority.
“Council has already committed to making improvements to our existing aged infrastructure within its strategic plan,” said Chamber CEO Jennifer Brandle-McCall, “But the construction of a new arena means that many other renovation projects will have to be put on hold indefinitely; there is simply not enough money to do it all.”
Prince George Mayor Rogers has submitted, in his Reconsideration Report to Council for June 24, a recommendation for council to take another look at their decision to build a stand-alone arena in addition to required capital improvements to the Kin Centre Complex.